Why Am I Underweight? | Underweight Health Risks

Why am I underweight? Underweight health risksWhy Am I Underweight? | Underweight Health Risks

“I Eat Lots – Why Am I Underweight??”

You hear a whole lot about people trying to lose weight, and wondering why they are so overweight, even when they are trying very hard. But how often do you hear somebody asking, “Why am I underweight?”, or, “Are there underweight health risks I should be concerned about?”

It almost sounds weird

Underweight People Need Help Too! Stop Ignoring Us!

Books about obesity. TV talk shows about obesity. New diets to lose weight. Exercise programs to carve off the pounds. Well, I say what about the people who have the opposite problem and are too thin? Must be nice, you may say, but to them the problem is every bit as real, as worrisome, and as difficult to change.

Underweight Health Risks

Causes of this malady can be a metabolism that is like a race car and burns calories faster than you can shove them in. Or there are people, believe it or not, who have absolutely no interest in food and eat to live rather than live to eat. In order to gain weight you must take in more calories than your body burns.

This can be a real health concern. For instance when your body does not receive enough food (fuel) it runs out of gas, leaving you sputtering along feeling fatigued, irritable, and with little or no concentration. This can lead to vitamin, mineral, and calcium deficiencies resulting in severe bone loss or osteoporosis. Other underweight health risks include infections, fertility problems, and even early death.

Other things can be the cause of inadequate weight as well:

– eating disorders such as anorexia

– hyperthyroidism

– celiac disease

– diabetes

– cancer

– infections such as parasites, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS

Suggestions for Healthy Weight Gain:healthy weight gain - no junk food

Here we come with a gas station full of ways to gain weight the healthy way:

First a precaution… I said “the healthy way.” Gorging yourself on donuts, sugary drinks, cookies, pies, and candy will surely pack on the pounds but will also ruin your health. To gain in a beneficial way you need to gain a balanced amount of muscle mass and subcutaneous fat, NOT unhealthy belly fat. It is very important to achieve healthy weight gain by eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle.

  • eat more frequently rather than your three squares per day.
  • eat foods such as whole grain breads, pastas, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, nuts and seeds, and lean meats.
  • don’t just concentrate on caloric heavy foods during meals.
  • snack, snack, and snack and make ‘em caloric. PB and J sandwiches, nuts, cheese, avocados, dried fruits, and more. Avocados are especially loaded with healthy fats as well as being high in vitamins and minerals. There are so many ways to use this food but they are especially delicious in sandwiches and omelets.
  • eat plenty of high carb and high fat foods at each meal. Some examples include potatoes, quinoa, corn, squash and sweet potatoes, root vegetables, and beans. For more bang for your buck try adding sour cream to potatoes, avocado or olive oil to roast vegetables, olives as a topping, and hummus to crackers or bread.
  • salmon and oily fish provide a whopping amount of protein and healthy fats to your diet. Eat them steamed, sautéed, grilled, or poached. Or try canned salmon. It can be served many ways and most of it is wild rather than farmed.

Allow Yourself a Treat Occasionally

But be careful. Pie and ice cream once in awhile is ok but don’t make a habit of it. Instead try bran muffins (preferably homemade), yogurt, and good, healthy granola bars (also preferably homemade)

More Food Tips

  • rice is not only a good carb source for weight gain but it is also inexpensive. For variety and flavor add parmesan and butter, broccoli and cheese, scrambled eggs, or sauces such as curry, pesto, or alfredo. Or how about creamy, delicious rice pudding?
  • red meat is one of the best muscle building foods. It is a natural source of creatine, which is the world’s best muscle building supplement.
  • dried fruits provide a high caloric snack and are nutritious, full of fiber, and high in antioxidants.
  • healthy cereals are super good for weight gain but make sure to read the labels and avoid ones with a high sugar content. Try oatmeal, granola, multigrains, bran, and Ezekiel brand and top with whole milk, nuts, dried fruit, or chia seeds.
  • high quality dark chocolate (that contains at least 70% cacao) helps to regulate stress hormones and blood sugar levels as well as having a very high calorie density. Not only is it delicious straight up, but imagine a fragrant, steaming cup of hot chocolate…

Protein Is Number OneHealthy Weight Gain - raw organic protein

Some good advice for making sure you eat enough at mealtime. Eat your protein and other calorie rich foods first. Then eat the vegetables if you still have room.

Make protein your main focus, foodwise. This is the single most important nutrient for gaining weight since muscle is made of protein. Examples of high protein foods include meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, and nuts. Protein supplements such as whey powder are a good addition.

Contrary to past advice, eggs are super muscle building little gems. Most of the beneficial nutrients are found in the yolks (again contrary to outdated beliefs), and you can safely eat up to three eggs per day in casseroles, for breakfast, in sandwiches, and in baked products. Omelets are one of my very favorites and so versatile. Add veggies like peppers and onions, cheese, and chopped meat. For a real caloric meal add sour cream and avocado.

If you are able to eat dairy, whole fat Greek yogurt has a well balanced mix of protein, carbs, and fat which is delicious in smoothies, parfaits, or mixed with fruit or berries.

Exercise regularly. This is an absolute must. Strength training builds up your muscles and stimulates your appetite.

Supplements for Weight Gain

There are many good supplements for weight gain, which help by increasing your appetite. For example a lack of zinc, thiamine, fish oil, and echinacea can cause loss of appetite so including them in your diet will be of help.

As mentioned previously creatine is a good one. It occurs naturally in your body, providing energy for your muscles and tissues. Taking it as a supplement bumps up its power considerably. It also increases water content in your muscle cells, producing signals for muscle growth.

Beta-Alanine is an amino acid that increases exercise performance.

Branched chain amino acids are found in most protein sources such as meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish. They are critically important for muscle growth but supplements should only be taken if it is difficult for you to get enough protein in your diet.


Thumbs up - healthy weight gainSo, in conclusion, if you have tried everything you can think of and are still wondering, “Why am I underweight?”, you know that gaining weight can be difficult. But it is not impossible, and consistency is the key to long term success.

Your body has a setpoint of weight where it just settles in and feels comfortable. Unfortunately if you yourself are not comfortable with that weight and try to change it, that stubborn body resists the changes by regulating your hunger levels and metabolic rate.

To be victorious in this battle you will need to force yourself to eat, even if you feel full. Be patient as this can take some time, so be consistent and stick with it. You will succeed in the end game.


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8 thoughts on “Why Am I Underweight? | Underweight Health Risks”

  1. I love this article. I have a similar niche. I am all about fitness and staying healthy so when I come across someone with the same goals as me, it just makes me happy. You get people that try to gain weight but are not able to. I believe that this article will speak to them so thank you so much for this 

  2. Hi Craig, There’s a lot of focus on the health effects of being overweight, but what about the effects of underweight health risks because there are certain health risks associated with being underweight. Underweight people can gain healthy weight and avoid the negative health effects of being underweight by eating smaller, more frequent meals and adding more snacks into their routine as well.

    They need to stick with foods that are rich in nutrients, like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, nuts and seeds, and lean proteins.

    Underweight people should pay more attention to what and when they’re eating and drinking. They need to get more calories in their meals by adding things like cheese, nuts, and seeds as toppings to main dishes.

    In my opinion, exercise and working out may help to stimulate their appetite as well. Thanks for sharing a very helpful article about underweight health risks with us. Much appreciated.

  3. Thank you for this post. I will focus on proteins. I have been avoiding junk food for years And, I don’t plan to start taking it again to gain some weight. I will go the balanced and healthy route. I love the fact that there are options for us to eat healthily.

  4. Hi Bernard. Yeah, it’s kind of annoying, isn’t it? Haha.

    I think underweight people probably eat about the same things we do (maybe more junk food, because they can). Just a higher metabolism rate.

  5. I must say when I saw this post, I was like, I will rather have this problem than the overweight problem. As I saw how much underweight people eat. They can eat large amounts of foods and still look awesome. If I have to eat like them, then I will start to roll than walking.

    However, I never knew the serious facts under weight people face as I thought they have the perfect life. I agree they must watch out what they eat as everybody must look after their health. How does the meal plan for underweight people look like that are healthy?

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